The Minister for Trade and Commerce, Billy Kelleher TD, today [Monday 6th September, 2010] leads 30 top Irish firms on a week-long trade mission to Russia. The firms are from a range of sectors including engineering, construction, food and drink, education and business services. Half of them are in the information communications technology (ICT) and services sectors.
The trade mission has been organised by the Government's indigenous job creation agency, Enterprise Ireland, to coincide with President Mary McAleese's visit to Russia. Russia is Europe's largest emerging market. Irish exports to the country grew by over 66pc in the first five months of this year. Ireland is the seventh largest provider of foreign direct investment to Russia ahead of the US and Japan. Enterprise Ireland has set up an extensive programme of meetings for each Irish firm with existing and potential customers and partners.
Speaking before he left, Minister Kelleher described the trade mission as 'an important opportunity to showcase Irish firms and generate new business opportunities'.
'Russia is a significant trading partner for Ireland and the country's continued economic development has resulted in a wide range of business and commercial opportunities for Irish firms.
'We want to give Irish firms opportunities to strengthen their business links with Russia and help new market-entrants to land their first breakthrough sale there.
'Our economic recovery will be export-led and the Government's strategy is to target markets with high growth potential that can generate revenues and jobs for Irish firms,' said Minister Kelleher.
The chief executive of Enterprise Ireland, Frank Ryan, said: 'This mission is another important part of Enterprise Ireland's strategy to drive export growth that will support employment and business growth back home.
'Irish products and services are well matched to the opportunities arising in Russia through the expanding Russian economy and the development of the Russian telecommunications, banking and services sectors.
'We are confident that the efforts of these firms participating in this mission will further boost the already vibrant and dynamic trade partnership between Ireland and Russia.'
Another key aspect of the trade mission is a joint knowledge event to be held between the Russian National Nanotechnology Company, Rusnano, and Science Foundation Ireland.
Ireland and Russia have similar national research and development goals with a strong focus on funding research in nanotechnology, life science and ICT.
A separate event is being organised for the Irish higher education sector to build contacts with Russian colleges through Education Ireland.
Special Adviser on Press and Communications
Minister Batt O'Keeffe, TD
Minister for Enterprise, Trade and Innovation
Department of Enterprise, Trade and Innovation
Tel: +353 1 631 3944
Fax: +353 1 631 2828
Mobile: +353 87 9173022
Tel: +353 87 2043435
Mobile: + 353 1 7272284